Stocks closed modestly mixed on light volume Friday in the last full trading week of the year, which marked the third week in a row of overall gains. Pharmaceutical giants Pfizer (PFE) and Merck (MRK) put a damper on the Dow, while robust earnings from Oracle (ORCL) and BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion (RIMM) helped lift tech stocks.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) fell seven points to close at 11,492. The broader S&P 500 ($INX) added one point to finish at 1,244. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite ($COMPX) gained six points, or 0.2%, to end at 2,643.

Fears of greater federal regulation hurt drugs stocks. Pfizer and Merck were among the Dow's top losers Friday and health care was the S&P 500's worst-performing sector. However, upbeat earnings from tech bellwether Oracle and RIM late Thursday boosted tech stocks. The Nasdaq is now up 16.5% for 2010 and sitting at nearly a three-year high.



In economic news, November's leading economic indicators (LEI) index rose 1.1%, the Conference Board said Friday. That's the forward-looking index's biggest gain since March, even though it's a touch below a Bloomberg survey that forecast the LEI to rise 1.2%. October's gain was revised slightly lower, to an 0.4% gain from the previous estimate of 0.5%. The index rose 0.6% in September.

The latest earnings and economic news confirm that the economic recovery, while still sluggish, is slowly picking up steam, says Joe Greco, managing director at Meridian Equity Partners. With the S&P 500 up a decent 11.5% for the year-to-date and sitting at a level last seen in September 2008, he says, it's only natural for the market to waver or pause..

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

What are Penny Stocks

The lucrative and dangerous world of penny stocks.

View Course »

Introduction to Preferred Shares

Learn the difference between preferred and common shares.

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

4 Comments

Filter by:
americandoo

"TIME FOR BIG INVESTORS TO STEP UP TO THE PLATE LEAD AMERICA
BY INVESTING IN AMERICA"



"WHEN YOU INVEST IN AMERICA YOU INVEST IN YOUR
CHILDREN'S FUTURE"

"INVEST IN A LARGE PROJECT THAT WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR THE FUTURE"
Similar to this idea;


In past history when the USA needed a Moral Boost to our Country we built
such things as;

The Largest Bridges, Dams, Statue Of Liberty, Worlds Largest Futuristic
Fair, Landed on the Moon etc. It is overdue for us and time for us to build the
Largest & Best Futuristic CITY IN THE WORLD, using ALL OF OUR CUTTING EDGE
TECHNOLOGY AND ALL OF CHINA'S, GERMANY, RUSSIA and all other Countries CUTTING
EDGE TECHNOLOGY and BEYOND ALL OTHERS ! !

We need to find a location in the USA somewhere that has the space for our
"FUTURE WORLD PROJECT" where this ENTIRE CITY will Utilize all of the Newest
and Cutting edge combined technology in the world to build our City using
entirely GREEN energy with 0 pollution ! ! !

(This City Would Also Have A NEW VERSION OF THE STATUE OF LIBERTY, Holding the
torch in one hand and OUR SPACE SHUTTLE or GREEN PLANET EARTH in her other hand
raised high and

looking into the sky ! ! to our City..Too Cool Or What..) I would love to
be part of this project and so would America ! !

This would make a GREAT FILM & Could be based on a True Story with the help of
A TEAM OF BIG MONEY INVESTORS ! ! !

Use your Imagination and think how GREAT THIS WOULD BE FOR AMERICA & OUR
ECONOMY ! !

" COULD BE AN HISTORICAL EVENT IN OUR HISTORY BOOKS FOR OUR NEXT
GENERATION TO FOLLOW"

Thank You, Respectfully, Michael V. Caldwell, Proud American
Inventor/Dreamer..Dream Big..Do Big..

(Always Striving To Be Part Of The Solution Using Respect & Ameri-Can-Do
Attitude )

December 23 2010 at 8:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
MSmailbox

The "revolution," has ended. Time to start penciling-in new names, in the Party. I see openings for a new President, Senate Finance comitteee and other key posts. Ms. Pelosi's ideas failed, Mr. Reid is a failure, too. I sure hope that we can find some legitimate people to serve our country. The world will take good care of itself. No man, shall break our backs, without being run out of office!

December 18 2010 at 11:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
MSmailbox

billwinston.org

December 18 2010 at 11:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply